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A Community of Learning  is a group of education and training providers (early learning, schools, kura, and post-secondary) working together to help students achieve their full potential.


A collaboration of schools for the success of individual students within a community that connects with them personally, with their learning, and with their language, culture and identity


Whirinaki Kahui ako is a collaboration between Clive School, Maraekakaho School, Twyford School, Meeanee School, St Josephs School,  Pakowhai School, Mayfair School, St John's College and Karamu High School



A collaboration of excellence



The Whirinaki Kāhui Ako currently comprises nine schools located in northern Hawkes Bay.  We have named ourselves ‘Whirinaki’ – a term which, in English, means to support or to depend on.  Our kāhui ako name, therefore, reflects our desire to both work towards the values and aspirations of our local community and to support each other as we do so.  


Our whakatauki “Whirinaki ka eke ki runga” translates as “let us bind together to attain heights” and is visually articulated in our logo. The ‘manu’ represents our ākonga as they travel through their educational journey with us towards becoming energised, strong and secure in who they are and having the agency to reach their own personal heights. The ‘manaia’ or guardian symbolises individual teachers and schools and the desire to work collaboratively to improve equity, excellence and belonging for our ākonga so they are supported, encouraged and empowered to achieve their aspirations in the future. The stylistic ‘C’ is woven within the design and signifies the importance of working with our community and whānau to lift the achievement of all our ākonga.  It is the synergy between all of us binding and growing together that will ensure our ākonga are ready to attain their own personal heights now and in the future.

There are currently over 2000 students in our nine schools.  The schools are: two secondary schools Karamu High School and St John's College, four full primary schools: Maraekakaho School, Meeanee School, St Joseph’s School, Twyford School and three contributing schools: Clive School, Mayfair School, Pakowhai School. All schools are state schools with the exception of St Joseph’s School which is a state integrated Catholic School. There are a range of rural, semi-rural and urban schools in Whirinaki Community of Learning.

The member schools are situated mainly in the Hastings district with one school situated in the Napier district. Many of the principals have worked together previously but the formalisation of the Whirinaki Kāhui Ako signifies a commitment to develop a shared culture of critical reflection, evidence-based internal evaluation and collaboration.

Ricardo Fox and Sam Hocking have been effectively leading the Community of Learning since 2019. They are supported by the across school leader team of June Crawford, Clancy Cummins and Mike Basset and a group of 17 Within School Leaders.